If your children are falling ill with a number of colds and flus each year their immune system may not be functioning optimally. There can be a number of factors that influence the efficiency of their immune health and assessing diet, gut health and nutrient status is a great place to start.   

Reduce sugar 

Sugar depletes two important nutrients which are essential for immune function, Zinc and Vitamin D.  Sugar also depletes gut health.   

Eat a whole food diet 

Eating an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and raw nuts and seeds is important for your children’s health and immune immune health.   Reduce processed foods and gradually replace then with whole foods with our simple family recipes.

A good night’s sleep 

Sleep deprivation can impact immune health and increase their risk of falling ill.

Avoid cigarette smoke 

Smoking or exposure to second hand cigarette smoke increases your children’s risk of developing bronchitis and pneumonia and increases the risk of middle ear infections.

Eat fermented foods 

Studies have found the good bacteria found in fermented food can improve gut health and therefore immune health, as 70% of our immune system is located in the gut.  See our blog on fermented foods for inspiration.

Many adults are reluctant to try fermented foods, but I generally find most kids love them, especially sauerkraut. Give it a go!

Sunshine 

Vitamin D is crucial for immune health and we need direct sunlight on our skin to make vitamin D. In the cooler months let your children spend 20-30 minutes in the sunshine each day without sunscreen.

Garlic 

Garlic is antimicrobial and an immune booster. If you are not a fan of garlic in your food take an odourless garlic capsule each day in the cooler months to boost immunity.

Medicinal mushrooms 

Medicinal mushrooms have a variety of amazing health benefits including improving immunity. Reshi, Shiitake Maitake, Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane or blends that contain these varieties are particularly valuable.

Immune boosting herbs 

Echinacea, Cats claw, Elderberry and Olive leaf may improve your immune response and reduce the duration of a cold or flu.

Gut Health 

If your child is suffering gut health issues such as reflux, constipation, loose stools, allergies or eczema their gut is not optimal and this is impacting their immune system.  After all 70% of our immune health comes from our gut. 

Rest and recovery 

When they catch a bug give them time to recover. Rest, get lots of sleep, drink fluids, eat nourishing soups and bone broth.   Allowing your kids (and yourself) to fully recover significantly reduces their risk of getting ill again soon.

If you have a child struggling with immune health we recommend starting with our Nutritional Basics Workshop or booking a consultation with our Naturopath Jean Jarrett. If you would like to know more about how Jean can help you and your child book a discovery call.